11th December 2019 ADHD Foundation

ADHD Foundation is set to welcome its new patron, Patricia Ward Kelly, to Liverpool on December 11-12

Liverpool-based ADHD Foundation – the largest user-led ADHD agency in Europe – will welcome its new patron, Patricia Ward Kelly, the wife and biographer of the late, great Hollywood icon, Gene Kelly – director, choreographer and star of Singin’ in the Rain – to its home city on December 11 and 12, 2019.

While in Liverpool, Patricia will visit some of the city’s most treasured arts institutions, including LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) and the Everyman Theatre, where she will chat with students and teachers about Gene Kelly’s remarkable legacy. Patricia will also meet the parents who set up the ADHD Foundation 12 years ago.

During the evening of December 11, Patricia will head to the Baltic to introduce Compass Presents Singin’ in the Rain at the Christmas Spiegeltent – a magical night at the movies with live performance, projection mapping and circus displays – part of the BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen season, celebrating the film musical in cinemas and venues across the UK until January 2020.

The alliance between Patricia Kelly and ADHD Foundation came about after Patricia walked under the Foundation’s Umbrella Project at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, which is a larger replica of the art installation that has also been displayed in Liverpool city centre and at MediaCityUK, Salford. Compelled by the message behind the Umbrella Project, Patricia reached out to the Foundation’s chief executive, Dr Tony Lloyd, asking how she could get involved in the charity’s ground-breaking work.

Speaking ahead of her visit to Liverpool, Patricia Ward Kelly, creative director, The Gene Kelly Legacy, Inc., commented:

“A few years ago, I noticed an interesting trend online in what people were saying about Gene’s movies. I saw that very often they are being screened around the world in therapeutic fashion for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and for ‘relaxed’ events for young people with autism and various other neurodiverse issues. I continue to be intrigued by the relationship between music and the mind, and know of several instances where music has been used therapeutically to help patients overcome their obstacles. I also have a friend whose autistic son has watched Singin’ in the Rain over 2,000 times, as it brings him both joy and comfort.

“Gene always said that the purpose of his films was to bring joy, and he was pleased when new and younger audiences responded to his work. Though Gene died in 1996 – before many advances in neuroscience and the use of his films in a variety of therapies for both young and old alike – I know he would feel both proud and also very humble knowing that his work was being used in such a meaningful way.

“I am thrilled to be visiting Liverpool – I have never been before but I am obviously aware of its rich musical heritage. It will also be a joy meeting the team at the ADHD Foundation. It has been a great honour to become an ambassador for neurodiversity and a patron of the Foundation. I am grateful to them for allowing me to share the beautiful mission of the Umbrella Project with the celebration of Gene’s legacy. It seems a most fitting alliance.”

Dr Tony Lloyd, chief executive, ADHD Foundation, said:

“You can only imagine just how excited we were to receive that first email from Patricia! We are so moved that our Umbrella Project has struck a chord with her, and honoured that she agreed to become a patron of the Foundation. I know we will do some great things together in our shared goal of breaking down the barriers facing neurodiverse individuals the world over.

“We look forward to welcoming her to Liverpool, giving her the opportunity to share and celebrate Gene’s incredible work, and indeed her own work in ensuring his legacy continues to touch the lives of others.”

The Foundation’s Umbrella Project is part of an initiative to raise awareness and celebrate neurodiversity. The project launched on Church Alley in Liverpool in 2017, where it has returned every year since, and has been seen at BBC North at MediaCityUK, and Heathrow.

The art installation will also feature at Compass Presents Singin’ in the Rain at the Christmas Spiegeltent on December 11. Compass Presents are working with circus producers Cirque Bijou, dancers Tap Attack and projection mapping specialists Limbic Cinema, to create a truly memorable showing of this silver screen classic.

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